Sydney is one of the most iconic places on Earth. Even if you’ve never been there, we’re sure the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge come to mind whenever you hear it mentioned.

This stunning city is located on the east coast of Australia – and is home to the first SailGP race of Season 2.

It’s no secret that Australia’s climate can be challenging for its residents – especially in a city with over 5 million residents.

Sydney is Australia’s most populated city, and as it grows year on year, and the climate becomes increasingly extreme, new solutions are needed to help the city and its communities deal with these challenges.

Explore Sydney’s journey towards a more sustainable and climate resilient future – watch the video and see how we can make sure #ThisFutureRocks for Sydney!

Get our sustainable guide to Sydney

The Denmark SailGP team in Sydney

The challenges of Sydney

Carbon emissions

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions per person rank among the highest in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Like most of Australia, Sydney is heavily reliant upon fossil fuels and lacks sustainable energy production alternatives. As a city heavily affected by climate change, Sydney must do its part to help combat the rising temperatures and reach the ambitious goals laid out in the Paris Agreement of keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C.
The iconic city must adopt cutting-edge solutions to effectively cut their
emissions and start their journey towards a more sustainable future.

Extreme weather conditions

Since records began back in 1910, Australia’s average surface air temperature has increased by 0.9°C, making it one of the country’s biggest challenges.

With global warming expected to reach 4.1°C – 4.8°C above pre-industrial averages by the end of the century, the Paris Agreement was introduced which sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

For Sydney, the rising temperatures do not only translate into warmer
weather. As well as intensified drought and heat, flood cycles with storm
or flash flooding events are estimated to be twice as likely by 2070. This
year, Australia has already experienced two weather extremes: bushfires,
followed by severe flooding. This highlights the tremendous effects of
climate change and Sydney must prepare to tackle these challenges.

Liveability

Cities around the world are growing rapidly, with Sydney among the fastest. Today, Sydney is home to more than five million people. In just 20 years, the city is expected to grow by more than 40 percent, adding about two million new residents. To accommodate these new residents Sydney will need an additional 725,000 homes by 2036.

This increased urbanisation forces the city to plan ahead to ensure that
Sydney will still be a great place to live in just two decades from now. 

Addressing Sydney's challenges 

Energy efficient buildings

Buildings account for around 30 percent of the world’s energy
consumption and nearly the same percentage of global CO2 emissions. These numbers should make it clear just how big a role buildings will play in creating a more energy efficient and sustainable future.

This can be achived be erecting more sustainable buildings that meets the highest possible buidling standards, but in order to truly make an impact we must seek to renovate existing ones. In fact, just by insulating building we can save up to 70 percent of the energy consumed, significantly lowering carbon emissions.

Flood prevention

Sydney has one of the oldest sewage and stormwater drainage
infrastructures in Australia, but by incorporating stormwater management
systems into the parks and streets of the city, stormwater can be slowed
down and filtered, which will reduce the pollution entering the waterways.

Combatting rising temperatures

Most sites in Sydney had their highest annual mean daily maximum temperature on record in 2019, with night-time temperatures also well above average in most suburbs. The rising temperatures lead to more
energy being spent cooling buildings, which in turn creates more CO2 emissions. This creates a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

Designing efficient buildings is a great way to negate the carbon emissions stemming from rising temperatures. By reducing the temperature exchange with the outside air and utilising efficient HVAC solutions, we could potentially save huge amounts of CO2.

Dealing with noise

In New South Wales alone, there are over 2,000 noise complaints made to
the police every week. The majority of noise pollution stems from people and buildings being packed closely together, along with an increase in transit and industrial activity.

Installation sound absorbing panels or insulation can help reduce noise and make lives for Sydney's resident more comfortable and less stressful.

Building tall without compromising on safety

With many cities such as Sydney experiencing increased
population pressure, high-rise offices and homes are being built closer
together to help manage this growth. As a result, we are constructing
more and more high-rise buildings.

One of the most important considerations to make when building highrises
is fire safety. Non-combustible ROCKWOOL stone wool also delivers the highest fireperformance possible by slowing the spread of flames and eradicatingthe release of toxic smoke. As such, it protects the integrity of the building structure to give occupants more time to escape with no risk of toxic
smoke inhalation.

Greening the city

People living in cities need green spaces to thrive. These oases of modern urban environments allow residents to take a break from the stress of city life and help to beautify the city.

Increasing the number of parks in urban areas will not only make such environments more comfortable living areas, it will also help cities like Sydney become more resilient to rain. During heavy rainfall, water can be collected in these green areas, keeping sewers from overflowing and streets and basements from flooding.

Adding more green spaces also has the benefits of reducing the urban heat island effect. This is a phenomenon where cities are significantly warmer than the surrounding rural area and is caused by the lack of green, open spaces. One way to mitigate this effect is to establish rooftop gardens or green fences which can both collect rainwater and help cool the city.

We think this vision of urban living can inspire everyone to think bigger and choose better! #ThisFutureRocks

Do you know the challenges of some of the most iconic cities in the world